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Arts & Life

'Evening'

Claire Danes and Mamie Gummer play the younger versions of Vanessa Redgrave and Gummer's mom, Meryl Streep, in Evening. Gene Page/Focus Features hide caption

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Gene Page/Focus Features

Claire Danes and Mamie Gummer play the younger versions of Vanessa Redgrave and Gummer's mom, Meryl Streep, in Evening.

Gene Page/Focus Features
  • Director: Lajos Koltai
  • Genre: Drama
  • Running Time: 117 minutes

Mothers and daughters are everywhere in the film version of Susan Minot's novel about two women who hear their mom's deathbed murmurs about a long-lost love — and how she killed a man in her youth.

The mom on screen is Vanessa Redgrave, whose real-life daughter Natasha Richardson plays one of her daughters (the other is played by Toni Collette). And mom's best friend (Meryl Streep) is played in flashbacks by Streep's real-life daughter Mamie Gummer, opposite Claire Danes playing a younger Redgrave.

Also on hand is Glenn Close as Wedding Momzilla — plus, for amour of one sort or another, Hugh Dancy and Patrick Wilson.

And all of this adds up to ... not very much. The script is so lamely melodramatic and overstated that no amount of stellar acting (and Streep and Redgrave are doing genuinely lovely work) can rescue it.

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